Findings of Best Buy's board

  • Updated: May 14, 2012 - 9:16 PM

 

Best Buy board investigation determined that:

Former CEO Brian Dunn, 51, ''violated Company policy by engaging in an extremely close personal relationship with a [29-year-old] female employee that negatively impacted the work environment. ... His relationship with the female employee demonstrated extremely poor judgment and a lack of professionalism, but the inquiry revealed no misuse of Company resources. The inquiry also revealed no misuse of aircraft.''

Richard Schulze, the chairman of the board "acted inappropriately when he failed to bring the matter to the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors in December 2011, when the allegations were first raised with him.''

DETAILS OF REPORT

• "Several employees witnessed the CEO visit with the female employee in his office and alone in conference rooms. The female employee spoke openly and frequently in the workplace about her friendship with the CEO and the favors he provided to her."

• "The growing awareness and speculation surrounding the relationship created friction and disruption in the workplace and, according to her supervisor, impeded efforts to supervise the female employee."

• "Both the CEO and the female employee acknowledged numerous social meetings outside the office, including lunches and drinks both during the work week and on the weekend. The CEO also gave the female employee tickets to at least seven concerts and sporting events."

• "During one four-day and one five-day trip abroad during 2011, the CEO contacted the female employee by cell phone at least 224 times, including 33 phone calls, 149 text messages, and 42 picture or video messages."

• "Both the CEO and the female employee have stated that the relationship was a close friendship that was not romantic or otherwise improper. Even accepting those statements as true, the relationship nevertheless reflected extremely poor judgment by the CEO.''

• During interviews, "some employees said that they felt that the rules appeared to apply to every employee except the CEO.''

Allegations about the inappropriate relationship first came to Schulze's attention in December 2011.

• The chairman confronted the CEO and "the CEO adamantly denied any inappropriate conduct or romantic relationship with respect to the female employee."

• Schulze "did not share information about the conversation, the CEO's denial, or any of the related allegations'' with his board, which learned about the conversation "in mid-March 2012, after allegations of the inappropriate relationship came to the attention of a senior human resources employee.''

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